Sunday, June 26, 2016

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that our Constitution made marriage equality legal.  In one one very significant but still only one way...LGBTQ people can't be refused the right to marry just because we're gay.  We can get married on Sunday and be fired Monday, whether telling HR of our marital status change or showing our wedding pictures.  Unless the local government has set up its own anti-discrimination laws, our only right is to marry the person we love.  And now North Carolina and Alabama have laws saying local governments can't grant us "special" rights...meaning it's legal to deprive us of the basic human rights that every else in the community expect.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast with the "married Sunday/fired Monday" discrimination laws firmly in place.  No.  I take that back.  There's no law that states that; there's no law to prohibit it.  One cannot discriminate against anyone because of their religion, which is their choice.  One can legally discriminate against me because of their choice of religion.  This means that religion trumps civil law in a commonwealth that clearly set out in the very first article of the PA Constitution(s).
The original 1776 article 1 reads


I. That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

A constitutional convention in 1873 stated virtually the same:
  § 1.  Inherent rights of mankind.
        All men are born equally free and independent, and have
     certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those
     of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring,
     possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of
     pursuing their own happiness.

Two weeks ago, 49 of my brothers and sisters were gunned down by a military grade weapon owned by a religious fanatic.  People of a certain persuasion love to point out his "radical Islam."  These same people conveniently forget the joy coming from many pulpits of radical xns.  I was recently engaged on YouTube by someone who insisted that a call for gay people to be killed and for the rest of the people in Pulse nightclub to be killed, too, wasn't a call to violence.  I asked him if his bible included "the second greatest commandment, that you love your neighbor as you love yourself."  He told me that he loved his neighbors excerpt for me.  This is the basis, apparently, as Christian Love (TM).  I'll be 70 in October...I've known about and experienced Christian Love (TM) for most of those decades.

Two years ago, our federal judge John Jones III (suggested by Santorum and recommended by the lesser Bush) struck down Pennsylvania's anti- marriage equality law. His decision concluded with something I wish everyone understood:
"The issue we resolve today is a divisive one. Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection. 

"We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history."

Marriage equality became the law of the land a year ago today.  Christians have rejoiced with us; xns have gone out of their way to make life difficult for us.  Joe Jervis, whose blog I read daily, has written, "They want to make us invisible.  They failed.  Let's dance."

Marriage equality became settled law a year ago today.  The sky still hasn't fallen.  Let's dance.

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